Graduate Student Earns Recognition on the Front Page

The front page of the September 11th Clarion Ledger features Jay Levy — one of the students in our Master of Education program.

The story chronicles the success of his school in increasing student scores on the English II test — a requirement for high school graduation.  The story reports  how Jay and his colleague, Emily Peters, have helped this rural school dramatically improve in just one year.

Jay is in Dr. Cathy Wasson’s  curriculum class tonight, while his story is being shown on the local NBC and CBS news programs tonight.

Quite an accomplishment for a first-year teacher!

Name a school.

From the front of his classroom, Pisgah High School English teacher Jay Levy began pointing to students for a response.

Pearl. Florence. Northwest Rankin. Madison Central.

“Beat them,” Levy said after each response.

Pelahatchie.

“Beat. Them,” Levy said, drawing laughs from the students.

They went through about a dozen schools, and each time Levy had the same response: “Beat them.”

Pisgah High, Levy explained, had the highest percentage of students earning the highest scores on the state’s standardized English II test.

On paper, that feat seems unlikely for the small, rural school in Rankin County, where approximately 54 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

But recently released data from the state Department of Education shows that almost 89 percent of the Pisgah students who took the English II scored proficient or advanced, which is higher than not only the more affluent schools in Rankin County but also the rest of the state.

Approximately 98 percent of Pisgah High students who took the English II test earlier this year passed.

That success occurred on one of the state’s toughest standardized tests. And much of the credit for the Pisgah students’ success has gone to Levy, 23, who was a first-year teacher.  (read the full article HERE)

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